Category Archives: TV Series Articles

Rinzy Reviews ‘Euphoria’ Season One (2019)

Network: HBO

First episode aired: June 16

Starring: Zendaya, Elordi Jacobs, Hunter Schafer, Sydney Sweeney, Eric Dane, et al.


Euphoria is the most realistic teen show you’ll find on air at the moment. The way it handles mature themes is most certainly commendable. Unlike idealistic beliefs, high school kids experiment – they have sex, they do drugs, and they consume large quantities of alcohol even though it’s illegal. Euphoria does its best to tell a realistic story around these themes without romanticizing the idea or making light the struggles of real life people.

Zendaya as Rue is one very interesting character. Her struggle with drug addiction is quite relatable. Actually, most of the characters actually are relatable. In Euphoria, we see teenagers struggling daily to cope with teenage stuff, and sometimes adults secrets – like with Nate Jacobs.

Euphoria‘s season finale left me with mixed feelings. To put it simply, I expected more, but seems the show’s more concerned with setting things up for future season than laying most of its cards on the time, which may be fine for most people, but not me (for some weird reason).

Nate (Elordi Jacobs) is depicted as a character struggling with demons inherited from his father’s secret. He’s let these demons define him for so long, that he’s obviously lost his way, and would do anything to maintain status quo. I wanted him dead by the season finale for what he did to my Fezco, but that didn’t happen, which is both good and bad . That I hate the character so much is testimony that he’s a good one and that the actor and writers have done a great job. I’ll like to see him pay for his sins; poor upbringing isn’t an excuse for bad behavior.

The acting in the show is phenomenal; the casting is perfect. The characters are intriguing, and their personal journeys fascinating. Zendaya does some of her best work yet here. She’s got a way of making you root for Rue to get her way even though you know she desperately needs helps with her addiction. Rue and Jules (Hunter Schafer) have a lot to talk about next season; I hope their fairytale love survives the bomb of the former leaving. And talking about bomb, Maddie has a weapon of mass destruction in her possession, Nate’s dad really should be scared.

This season was a good one, and I’m glad I got to see it. The cinematography bringing, costume, and make up constantly translating what the characters are feeling onto the screen is commendable, and one of the reasons I just can’t get enough of the show. Although I’m not really happy with the season finale, I’m still excited for the future, and the many ways the show can progress. Great job as always, HBO.


Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

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Rinzy Reviews ‘The Boys’ Season One (2019)

Release Date: July 26

Network: Amazon Prime

Starring: Karl Urban, Anthony Starr, Jack Quaid, Jessie T. Usher, Erin Moriarty, Laz Alonso, Tomer Capon,



If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in superhero teams like the Justice League when Darkseid or Doomsday isn’t threatening the existence of life on Earth, The Boys might just be what gives you some perspective. The series exists in a world where superheroes are public knowledge, and are monetized by Vought, a company bent on gaining control of the world’s security.

In the world of The Boys, like most other comicbook based properties, superheroes leave collateral damages in their wake, and there are people willing to do something about it.

Enter Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and his merry team of amazing boys men.

Butcher recruits Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) after fastest man alive A-Train accidentally runs through his girlfriend, Robin. That scene sets the tone for the rest of the series that is is going to be a ride gritty enough to give HBO a run for its money. Hughie is written as a sympathetic character, one whose loss and anger is capitalized by Butcher, who nurses intense hatred for all superheroes – particularly Homelander. He finds in Hughie an easily influenced ally, and together they recruit two friends from Butcher’s past – Frenchie (Tomer Capon) and Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) – and that’s when the real fun begins.

One compelling thing about The Boys is its unique approach to superhero storytelling; centering more on the characters as against ostensible acts of heroism commonly obtained in it’s counterparts. It doesn’t take long for one to understand one truth the series bares right from the start – superheroes are the villains of this story. And through the eight episode journey, understanding the motivations for these characters help viewers better appreciate their complexities, and how different they are from their more popular counterparts. You can’t help but think about how if Homelander were to be raised by loving parents (preferably farmers) he’d be more like Superman. It’s this unique angle to storytelling that makes the characters better appreciated even when they’re being bad.

The world of The Boys feels relatable, like what the real world would be like if superheroes really did exist. There are people pulling the strings behind the scenes, full-time PR management, heavily-funded marketing for more publicity, movie deals, and so many other shenanigans that’d normally take a backseat in other superhero stories. Superheroism is a business. Businesses are controlled by people. People are subject to corruption. Superheroes too can be corrupt. It’s this parallel that makes The Boys so much fun to watch.

The show’s casting is terrific, and is as much responsible for the value of the series as is the story. Karl Urban as Billy Butcher works. His undaunting ability to switch from smile-to-scary within the twinkle of an eye is quite terrifying, making him a delight to watch. Jack Quaid is also great as the coming-of-age Hughie. He brings so much dexterity to his craft that makes his grieving for Robin and eventual moving on with Annie/Starlight quite believable. But it’s Anthony Starr’s Homelander that really steals the show. Starr has come a long way since his stint as Lucas Hood on Cinemax’s Banshee. His turn as evil-Superman is downright terrifying. The extreme lengths Homelander would go to keep his secrets are quite disturbing, and how oblivious the general public is to how unsettling their favorite superhero is in private reminds me of how little of someone’s true nature is known to the public eye.

Frenchie and Mother’s Milk start out like one-dimensional, comic-plot characters, but have more depths and layers added that by the end of the eighth episode a feel of familiarity and longing for more is established. Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligot) and The Deep (Chace Crawford) of The Seven feel underused, but there’s still enough of them this season to give an idea of possible paths their characters could follow moving forward. Black Noir on the other hand feels absent from the most part of the series, the character’s scenes could be entirely removed and the show would go on exactly the same. Hopefully, that changes next season.

In a year that’s out to alter the narrative of superheroism in the media The Boys is a welcome addition to the ranks of DoomPatrol, Brightburn, The Umbrella Academy, and the likes. And with that cliffhanger at the end of the last episode, the possibilities for this show moving forward remain bright and endless.


Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Money Heist’ Season 3 (2019)

Release Date: July 19

Network: Netflix

Starring: Alvaro Morte, Miguel Herran, Ursula Corbero, et al.

***

‘Money Heist‘ has taken the world by storm! At least that’s what social media would make us believe. I do miss the days when we that followed it were just a small community.

In a perfect world, a group of criminals bold enough to declare a robbery revolution on the system sounds like an interesting material, one that’s strong enough to hold viewer’s spellbound for a long time. But watching this third part, I couldn’t help but feel like Money Heist’s outlived its welcome.

Don’t get me wrong, this season isn’t a bore, it’s just doesn’t start out like the rollercoaster, suspense-filled ride of the first two seasons.

After the fairy tale ending that was the second season finale, I hoped Money Heist wouldn’t fall into the temptation of some of the most popular ones before it (remember TVD?) But it did. Netflix just had to commission another season because for the streaming giants, a two season run is a failure. What Netflix didn’t factor in is that the entire premise of the show packs it into a tight corner, making it difficult to hold strong the moment the premiere heist ended without feeling monotonous.

It’s obvious Netflix’s all about milking this cow for what it’s worth.

We see this in multiple facets throughout the season, particularly through Andrea/Berlin’s return through past encounters with Sergio/The Professor. But then, it feels like a loss for fans because this version is less appealing than the misogynistic bastard who gave his life to save his crew.

The season gets off to a mostly boring start, by the last two seasons’ standard. For the first four episodes, it struggles to justify its existence, and in so doing relegates its signature move of suspense to an afterthought. But that mistake is fully rectified going into the last lap of the season, when we see Alicia (the new inspector-in-charge) go head-to-head with The Professor’s plans.

Feminism continues to play a big role in the show. With fierce characters like Nairobi, Tokyo, Lisbon, and Stockholm at the center of the action, demanding to be accorded as much respect as their male counterparts. teammates, the show’s clearly preaching the gospel the best way it knows how to.

New additions to the team – Bogota and Palermo – add new dynamics to the show, and for the most part they’re cool. But for Alicia the story’s different. She’s a beast. If you’ve ever thought about what pregnancy would look like on someone without being termed a disability, try Alicia. I hate to admit this, but I think this woman might just be the end of Heist crew.

With that explosive season finale, we pray by some miracle season four arrives earlier than planned.

If you can, do watch this show in the original Spanish with English subtitle — it’s more beautiful that way.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Stranger Things 3’ (2019)

Release Date: July 4

Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, Finn Wolfhard, David Harbour, et al.

***

When Stranger Things first arrived in 2017, it rode high on people’s feelings of nostalgia for the ’80s, and quickly became one of the best original series of this generation, further catapulting Netflix higher among the big wigs in entertainment. These days, the show’s become its own entity, is currently the biggest young-adult series on air, and is now fully able to express itself and tell its perculiar breed of horror-SciFi stories without relying much on external nostalgia. Stranger Things 3 does reference some pop culture materials or the ’80s – Terminator, Back to the Future, Gremlins, Evil Dead 3, etc. But its greatest references comes from its earlier seasons, and that works fine too.

I enjoy watching kids grow up in movies – Arya and Sansa’s arcs were two of my favorites in Game of Thrones. For the Stranger Kids, adulthood beckons, and with it all the quirks that follow; a new kind of drama abounds – and that includes teenage love, with sub-themes of understanding, commitment, and how not to lose yourself while in a committed relationship. The show handles these mature topics well, even better than most movies centered around adults.

Millie Bobby Brown is a terrific actress for her age, and part of what makes Eleven’s naivety and bravery believable is thanks to her portrayal. It’s good to see her better hone her craft as well as her sense of style this season.

As the never-ending drama between the children’s club vs. the demons rages on, it’s become more incredulous seeing the Scooby-gang as Earth’s first defense against enemies of life and the United States. It’s even more unbelievable when you consider the lack of strong reason the show keeps revisiting the same plot over and over again. It was easier when all we we had to deal with watching Eleven battle Demogorgon beasts trying to usurp our world, but when you add a Russian spy plot (with a Terminator-looking agent at the forefront) believability gets thrown into a mix.

It’d be expected that since the show returns to the same central conflict of man vs. demon again and again it’d be boring already, but Stranger Things 3 works so well because it’s mostly character-driven, even the Mind-Flayer is given a rebranding push, becoming a gigantic goo.

Stranger Things 3 is great because it lets its characters (old and new) play and grow in ways the last season didn’t, making it a better and well-rounded one. It still isn’t half as good as the rollercoaster ride the first season was, but it’s far better than the mostly lacklustre sophomore outing. And even though the characters are mostly separated into factions for the better part of this season, they mostly play off into one another, making the story feel like different parts of the same body at the same time.

My verdict: Stranger Things 3 doesn’t disappoint. It’s an 8 hours of entertainment well spent, and I can’t wait for the next installment. If you wait around long enough, you’ll catch the mid-credit scene, and have an idea of what’s in store next season. More monsters and, hopefully, a resurrection for our fan favorite character.

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

FX Legion: Time Travel Is Impressive

Dan Steven has been killing it as David Haller since Legion first premiered, and it’s a joyous thing to see he hasn’t lost his touch one bit. It’s even more pleasant when you realize the show is fully embracing time-travel in all its Glory. The season three premiere opens with it quickly establishing its own set of rules for one of the most popular topics in SciFi, and one of my personal favorite.

Its theory builds upon previously existing concepts of time travel we already know, like taking care to not array to close or far from event(s) intended to alter, but it’s the tease of a time demon that gets me really excited for all the many ways things could really go to shit for this season.

The season three premiere goes out of its way to give a little extra of everything this show’s come to be unanimously applauded for – mind altering cinematography, excellent performance from its cast, stunning visuals, even the impromptu musicals aren’t left out, making it more difficult to prepare to say goodbye.

Division 3 didn’t come to play – David’s got to die. It’d be fun if the bulk of the season will be about David manoeuvring a vindictive Sydney with equal amount of hate as she once loved him, as Farouk rightly pointed out, but I know that’s a bogus lead. The Shadow King is too good to keep playing ball for long, he’s definitely got a few sinister tricks up his sleeves especially since there’s a time-traveler on board. With Professor X slated to appear somewhere down the line, I’d like to see how all these pieces play out together.

Give me more Lenny, crazy David-Farouk moments, time-travel, and I’ll be your loyal bitch this season, Legion.

Rinzy Reviews ‘Jessica Jones’ Season 3 (2019)

Release Date: June 14

Network: Netflix

Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, Carrie-Ann Moss, Jeremy Bobb, Benjamin Walker, et al.

***

The popular saying, with great power comes great responsibility is often used in comic book movies to describe a hero’s moral compass, and their trajectory towards the dark, whilst trying to find their way back to the light.

The third and final season of Jessica Jones bares its soul, holding almost nothing back. And though it drags at first, in the show’s usual form takes the titular character on another adventure of twists, turns, and shocking heartbreaks.

Unsurprisingly, and long overdue, this season really shines light on Trish Walker, taking her to really dark places as she further embraces her comic book persona, eventually picking up the alter-ego of Hellcat…

Of course Karl’s near-fatal experiment worked, Jess!

There’d always been darkness in Trish; she’d always loathed being the ordinary sister, missing out of the main action and having to hide behind Jessica’s shadow. And like she endlessly reiterated throughout the season, she wanted this, unlike Jessica. That impulsive need to mostly prove herself Jess coupled with grief drives her over the edge. She’s able to recognize this fact at the point of her incarceration when she blurts I’m the bad guy. Hopefully, this signals some sort of redemption in her future. We’ll never know now, would we?

Although Trish closes the show, the season starts with some other villain, one not up to par with Jessica in terms of physical strength, but full of charisma. Gregory Salinger (the Foolkiller) and his brutal fetish for peeking into his victims’ truth steer the season in a direction that’s both climaxing as it’s thrilling.

The Foolkiller isn’t the first serial killer to be on the show. Kilgrave and Jessica’s mom weren’t big fans of life either, but there was something different in the way Gregory Salinger determined who deserved to live and die. He’s merely human -highly intelligent- yet, still boringly human. But he presented a threat Jessica just couldn’t punch her way through. Through him, we see a side to Jessica that takes a more rational and procedural approach to solving her problems. Seems like there’s hope for New York’s unlikeliest hero after all!

Ruefully, this entry suffers from the same malformation as most of its predecessors in the Netflix corner of the MCU – over-bloated, unnecessarily dragged, and sometimes exhausting to follow. A shortened episode would’ve told a tighter, better paced story, but I guess we should be done regurgitating on this contractual obligations of the show. Multiple episodes reiterate issues already tackled from a new PoV, and even though they shed more light on plot issues, they sometimes become painstaking to follow.

Supporting characters like Malcom, Jeri, and newly introduced characters like Erik, Jess’s new assistant get arcs of their own, and get ample time to shine. Malcom, veers into dark places of his own, but manages to find his way back to the light fast enough to attain redemption. Jeri is still Jeri, scheming, manipulating, and would probably die alone as her lover prophesied.

I’ve been a hardcore fan of Jessica Jones’ series, more than I was for any of the other Defender shows. It’s hard to say goodbye, but I couldn’t be more prouder of how things ended. We’ve watched Jessica grow much over the years into the more mature she’s in now, and can rest easy knowing NYC is in great hands.

PS: Did you catch that surprise cameo from Harlem?

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘The Hot Zone’ (2019)

Network: National Geographic

Release Date: May 27

Starring: Juliana Margulies, Liam Cunningham, Topher Grace, et al.

***

The Ebola virus is one of the deadliest viruses to hit the human population in recent years. Every new appearance is always more devastating than the previous one.
In 1989, the Ebola virus appears in chimpanzees in a research lab in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and there is no known cure; a U.S. Army scientist puts her life on the line to head off an outbreak before it spreads to the human population.

The show is a true life story based on the 1994 best seller of the same name by Richard Preston, and is one of three shows based on real events to hit viewers’ screen this season – enter Chernobyl and When They See Us.
Julianna Margulies stars as Dr. Nancy Jaax, a military infectious disease expert who becomes concerned about a mysterious outbreak at a primate research facility in Reston, Va. Her husband, Jerry Jaax (Noah Emmerich), also works for the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, but is less concerned about the possible virus and more concerned about his wife.

The show juggles between two timelines – present day 1989, where Dr. Jaax has her hands full, and 1976, where her colleague and teacher, Wade Carter (Liam Cunningham), first encountered the deadly virus. Throw in politics and some family drama, and you get yourself an explosive TV drama to binge. But The Hot Zone isn’t just a TV show.

Some elements of realism is lost along the aisle of production, and it’s heavily reflected in some parts feeling cheeky and riddled with unnecessarily accentuated dialogues even when it makes little to no sense. Almost every scene between Carter and Trevor Rhodes (James D’Acry) really fall into this category in the present timeline. And the explanation provided in the sixth episode for this acrimony didn’t cut it for me, thereby making everything that came before it fall flat.

In time of great crisis there’ll always arise a few willing to put their lives on the line for the multitude; Dr. Jaax stands to fill that gap for the people of the United States during the events of this film. We’ve seen this happen multiple times over the years, some lucky and others not so much, like in the case of Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh of the 2014 Nigeria outbreak. Fortunately for Dr. Jaax, she fought the good fight and lived to tell the story, and America will continue to be indebted to her.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5